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Old 17-01-2019, 22:23   #1
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Coconuts.....

Looking for some general advice here. I have a new crew member who's suggested that fresh coconuts might be a nice thing to have on a boat. I agree, and then thought about trying to open them. The idea of waving a machete at a coconut on a moving boat isn't that appealing, so I was wondering what others do?

Drill them, drink the milk and then open them up with the large persuader? Or is there a better/easier solution?
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Old 17-01-2019, 23:00   #2
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Re: Coconuts.....

This is basically how we do it....

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Old 17-01-2019, 23:36   #3
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Re: Coconuts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olly75 View Post
Drill them, drink the milk and then open them up with the large persuader? Or is there a better/easier solution?
In the non-urban archipelagic parts of Southeast Asia and Oceania, young coconut (green coconut) is about equivalent to bottled water or packaged sports drink: a ready supply of sterile water (95%) with a few dissolved carbohydrates and a little protein, and sometimes a little fizzy.

And very very little of the tropical palm fats (invariably saturated fat).

Drilling is one way. Depending where you are, you'll find simpler tools the just use hand power:-

* (in Australia and some other jurisdictions) the CocoTap: https://cocotap.com/product/cocotap/

* (in Malaysia and some other jurisdictions) the Coco water punch: https://www.lazada.com.my/products/1...677418756.html

* (in Malaysia and some other jurisdictions) young coconut opener: https://www.lazada.com.my/products/m...551912588.html


I recommend ones made of food grade material, especially stainless steel (without plastic).
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Old 18-01-2019, 06:03   #4
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Re: Coconuts.....

If you just want the water then you can hack a small wedge out of the top (husk & all) and pour it out. However, that does involve the use of a machete.

Alternatively make up a skewer/spigot out of stainless tubing, cut one end at an angle and sharpen its edges. This can then be driven into the coconut and the water poured out. Quick, easy, no machete.
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Old 18-01-2019, 06:20   #5
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Re: Coconuts.....

Alan, will one of those tools go into a brown coconut? or do I go for the dewalt instead.
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Old 18-01-2019, 06:37   #6
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Re: Coconuts.....

Can you saw into them with a heavy duty serrated knife?
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Old 18-01-2019, 07:04   #7
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Re: Coconuts.....

Martha suggests a screwdriver to get at the water

https://www.marthastewart.com/151353...k-open-coconut

and then to crack it open you want to wack at it with the spine of a heavy knife/cleaver.

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Old 18-01-2019, 07:54   #8
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Re: Coconuts.....

This is all good stuff, but what about green coconuts, as on those straight off the tree with the husk still on them? Is there an easy way to get into them (apparently the meat is just as important as the water), or should I de husk before departure?

I enjoy working for my food but de husking might be a step too far!
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Old 18-01-2019, 09:41   #9
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Re: Coconuts.....

Dehusking a Coconut is very difficult or dangerous to do without some heavy equipment.
The tool I made is too big and awkward to carry on a cruising boat.

I think the tool in the following link might be what you need, but it looks like itís been discontinued. Any good machine shop should be able to build one.
https://www.amazon.com/Aranyik-Porta...rb_top?ie=UTF8

I would dehusk on shore before bringing aboard. You can store them for weeks maybe months before they go bad.

Below is a photo of the pile of coconuts in my front yard.
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Old 18-01-2019, 12:43   #10
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Re: Coconuts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olly75 View Post
This is all good stuff, but what about green coconuts, as on those straight off the tree with the husk still on them? Is there an easy way to get into them (apparently the meat is just as important as the water), or should I de husk before departure?

I enjoy working for my food but de husking might be a step too far!
Waiting on the travel lift...have time for a coconut brain dump:


There are a few different varieties of coconut. Some are better for water, some for meat.

On my property in Guatemala I have yellow husked drawf coconut and green husked large (tall) coconut trees. These two varieties, in both large and drawf tree sizes, are common in the W Carib.

The yellow husk coconut is larger and has a larger amount of water. The water is also sweeter. The drawf size makes them perfect for easy harvesting at cocktail time...yum...rum and coconut water, the perfect all natural cocktail. However, the meat in the yellow coconuts is thin and gel like.

The yellow variety husk and shell are not as tough as the green wich makes them easier just to hack a knotch in to collect the water. Careful when hacking the soft husk of either variety aboard a boat as the sap will stain gel coat (guess how I know!).

The green husked coconuts are smaller and contain less water. The water is good but not as sweet. The meat is thicker, very firm, a bit dry, and tasty. The green husked husk & shell are tougher so to collect the water it is easier to find the "soft eye" (there are 3 black "eyes" in the tip of the shell...one is soft). Punch out the eye and drain the water. I usually also give the shell a whack, with the spine of a machete, to crack it a bit so it flows faster.

Regardless of type of coconut we usually run the water thru a strainer to remove and debri created by opening. I drain into a glass via the strainer, so I can sample the water first...sometimes you get a bad/old one...then dump the water into a pitcher (you need a few for happy hour!).

The husks of both varieties turn brown after off the tree/with age, but you can still differentiate by shape. This is the time to remove the husk if you want to collect the meat. One way to do it, which requires being comfortable using a machete, is to chop the husk repeatedly near the more pointed end in line with the length of the coconut. Make several cuts in the husk in a radius around the tip, then elongate and deeping each of those cuts toward the other end...usually there is no need to go more than half way to the other end. Jam the sharp edge of the machete in each cut in turn and twist it from side to side so as to open the cut further and start separating husk from shell. Once it is loose enough you can just rip each section off the shell by hand. The dry husk is very fibrous and makes a good firestarter.

Once the husk is removed, you can remove meat by cracking the shell. I use the spine of a machete, but any blunt object will work. It will likely (unless you are really really good) break apart in chunks with the meat still attached. You can separate meat from husk by sliding a stout knife between them and twisting...a chunk of meat will pop free..repeat.
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Old 18-01-2019, 12:50   #11
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Re: Coconuts.....

Preparing for happy hour by harvesting some yellow coconuts. You can see the drawf yellow coco tree behind my head...perfect cocktail harvesting height and just outside the kitchen!


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Old 18-01-2019, 12:53   #12
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Re: Coconuts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by HopCar View Post
Dehusking a Coconut is very difficult or dangerous to do without some heavy equipment.
The tool I made is too big and awkward to carry on a cruising boat.

I think the tool in the following link might be what you need, but it looks like itís been discontinued. Any good machine shop should be able to build one.
https://www.amazon.com/Aranyik-Porta...rb_top?ie=UTF8

I would dehusk on shore before bringing aboard. You can store them for weeks maybe months before they go bad.

Below is a photo of the pile of coconuts in my front yard.
Yum...when they just start to sprout like that they develop a ball of material inside the shell which contains very sweet water...crack open shell, remove ball, and squeeze it like a sponge to extract this super sweet water.
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Old 18-01-2019, 13:04   #13
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Re: Coconuts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olly75 View Post
...

Drill them, drink the milk and then open them up with the large persuader? Or is there a better/easier solution?
Terminology: the liquid you pour out of the coconut is "water". Coconut "milk" is made by shredding the meat, soaking it in water, and then pressing...the runnings from this process are white and richly sweet...great for making coconut rice.
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Old 18-01-2019, 13:27   #14
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Re: Coconuts.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by belizesailor View Post
Yum...when they just start to sprout like that they develop a ball of material inside the shell which contains very sweet water...crack open shell, remove ball, and squeeze it like a sponge to extract this super sweet water.
I had heard that, but Iíve never opened a sprouted nut. I usually plant them but Iíve got plenty of palms now. Maybe Iíll give it a try.
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Old 18-01-2019, 15:09   #15
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Re: Coconuts.....

I'm amused by the high tech coconut openers, etc. Some years ago we attended a festival in the Ha'Apai (sp?) group in Tonga. One event was a coconut husking contest. The contestants were given a dozen nuts to husk. They each brought their own husking "tool": a sharpened stick, which had the butt end driven into the ground. The technique was to hold the nut in both hands and drive it down on the sharpened end of the stick, splitting the husk, which was then ripped apart bare handed. Most of the contestants were old men.

The winner did his dozen in less than two minutes.

Old age and experience can sometimes defeat youth and technology!

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